Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is taking responsibility for his previous claim about former President Barack Obama’s administration leaving no pandemic playbook.
During a Fox News interview with host Bret Baier, McConnell was asked about former Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) director Dr. Rick Bright’s House committee hearing on Thursday.
During that hearing, Bright criticized President Donald Trump’s administration for failing to use the previous administration’s playbook to better prepare for the coronavirus outbreak in a timely manner.
Despite Bright’s claims, multiple Republicans including McConnell argued that there was no pandemic playbook. Now, he is admitting that he was mistaken in that accusation.
“I was wrong,” McConnell said on Thursday evening. “They did leave behind a plan. So, I clearly made a mistake in that regard.”
McConnell went on to briefly discuss the details surrounding Bright’s claims, admitting that he did not have enough information to weigh in on the subject.
“As to whether or not the plan was followed and who is the critic and all the rest, I don’t have any observation about that because I don’t know enough about the details of that, Bret, to comment on it in any detail,” McConnell said.
See McConnell’s remarks below (starting at 5:50):
McConnell’s latest remarks follow his interview with Lara Trump during a campaign event. He was asked about Obama’s leaked phone conversation where the former president labeled Trump’s pandemic response efforts an “absolute chaotic disaster,” as previously reported on IJR.
Sen. Mitch McConnell: "Clearly the Obama administration did not leave to this administration any kind of game plan for something like this." pic.twitter.com/ntbCocJogJ— The Hill (@thehill) May 12, 2020
Shortly after McConnell made the remarks, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden fired back via Twitter.
Biden, also former vice president for the Obama administration, tweeted, “This is a bunch of malarkey and you know it, [Mitch McConnell]. We left a 69-page playbook on how to fight pandemics.”
This is a bunch of malarkey and you know it, @senatemajldr. We left a 69-page playbook on how to fight pandemics.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 12, 2020
You can read it here if you’d like: https://t.co/zvRGv6ubWt
And make sure to pass along your notes to President Trump. He could use them. https://t.co/CooyBemPSv
With that tweet, he also shared a link to the pandemic playbook.